This excerpt is part of Entrepreneur.com’s Second-Quarter Startup Kit which explores the fundamentals of starting up in a wide range of industries.
In Start Your Own Cleaning Service, the staff at Entrepreneur Press and writer Jacquelyn Lynn explain how you can launch a profitable cleaning service, whether you want to offer maid services, janitorial services, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and more. In this edited excerpt, the authors offer words of wisdom from owners of successful cleaning businesses on what you need to do if you want to succeed in the cleaning industry.
Nothing teaches as well as the voice of experience. So we asked established cleaning service owners to tell us what’s contributed to their success and what they think causes some companies to fail. Here are their tips:
Finding a niche or a targeted part of the market to focus on, is one of the best strategies to attract profitable new cleaning business.
You may decide, for example, that rather than service both residential and commercial accounts, you’re going to start to focus MORE attention on the commercial side.
You might begin to direct all of your training and marketing dollars in that direction.
But, you may decide to push it even further… you may decide to niche the niche.
Well, let’s say that within the commercial cleaning market, you decide to specialize
in cleaning day care centers and churches.
Great, now that you’ve decided which ‘niche to niche’ – what do you do?
Well, in a nutshell, the idea is to become a specialist on the kinds of things those special niches want.
Now, that may be different than what other commercial accounts want, and even more importantly….may be different than what other cleaning companies are willing to offer!
Let’s take a look…
From asking day care center managers, you may find that security and attention to safe, hygienic cleaning methods and chemicals – are the critical issues.
From asking the pastors and building managers at churches, you may hear that offering unusual services at odd hours and days like ‘set ups and tear downs’ of events early in the morning or on weekends, along with shoveling the walks before services – are the unique things they’re looking – beyond normal office cleaning.
Your ‘mission’ then, should you choose to accept it,
To create reliable systems to deliver those special services, and then to – promote your company and THOSE systems to THAT niche.
How might that look? Let’s take a look.
Since the name of our company was Clean Care Inc., we might create a marketing campaign with ads like ‘Clean Care for Day Care!’ or ‘Clean Care for Church Care!’
You get the idea.
Now, here’s the important thing:
We’d then go on to clearly promote in our marketing how we have the commitment, specialized training and systems needed to deliver the very special cleaning requirements they need… as a day care center or church!!.
This strategy can work.
And when it does, it sets you apart from the rest of your competitors, so you cannot only attract the interest of your niche prospects, but successfully land accounts at higher profit margins to boot!.
And that’s the point.
The idea is you remove yourself from the big…
All cleaning companies are the same… so I might as well go with the cheapest one – pool, and
put yourself into the…
We’re different than everyone else, so we can make you happier than every one else – pool.
And when you’re swimming in that smaller ‘pool’, you don’t have to butt heads over price with every other cleaning outfit out there.